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Minister Is Failing Farmed Animals

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

13 October 2008 - New Zealand Open Rescue has produced a five minute documentary reviewing intensive farming in New Zealand. The documentary is targeted to MP's and calls for party policy on Animal Welfare.

The organisation is also calling for separate Ministry's of Animal Welfare and Agriculture, as currently Welfare falls under Agriculture.

New Zealand Open Rescue spokesperson Deirdre Sims says, "The fact that the Minister of Agriculture, Jim Anderton, is also responsible for Animal Welfare, results in a severe conflict of interest on his part.

Agriculture is one of our primary industries, earning New Zealand billions each year. So it comes as no surprise that a Minister in charge of both Animal Welfare and Agriculture would put economics before the interests of farmed animals.

In 2006, Parliament's Regulations Review Committee found battery cages were illegal as they don't allow hens to engage in natural behaviours. Jim Anderton over-ruled this decision on economic grounds".

The Codes of Welfare for pigs, layer hens and broiler (meat) chickens will be reviewed in 2009. Currently in New Zealand, these Codes permit restriction of natural behaviours. This is in breach of the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

New Zealand Open Rescue is calling for concrete change for battery hens, pigs and broiler chickens in the 2009 Code reviews.

"While Jim Anderton claims that New Zealand has 'much to be proud of in our standards of animal care' and that our Animal Welfare legislation is 'state of the art', as a nation we are far behind more progressive countries," says Ms. Sims.

Sow stalls are illegal in Sweden and the UK and will be soon phased out in Finland, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Denmark.

Sweden and Switzerland have banned the farrowing crate.

Austria, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and Finland have banned the battery cage. The entire European Union is phasing out conventional cages by 2012.

Local and international research cites broiler chickens are subject to considerable welfare compromise due to fast growth, leg disorders, organ failure and over-crowding.

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